A 'paradise' amid the rocks and weeds

Man's best friend

Dog lover Neda talks to a stray at the Vafa animal shelter in the town of Hashtgerd. The first animal shelter in Iran, the non-government charity relies on private donations and volunteers to provide shelter to injured and homeless dogs in Iran. Canine lovers in the Islamic Republic are faced with a motion put forth by lawmakers in the conservative-dominated country to ban the public appearance of dogs due to their 'uncleanness' and to combat 'a blind imitation of vulgar Western culture.' If the motion becomes law, first-time offenders will be fined five million rials (472 USD) and will be given a 10-day period to get rid of the dog or face the canine's confiscation to an unknown fate.
Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images
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